February 9, 2023

Production of "Inactive" PFAS Would Require EPA Review Under Proposed Rule

A proposed rule published by EPA in the Federal Register on Jan. 26 would require a complete agency review and risk determination before companies could resume production of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that have not been made or used for many years. According to EPA, such PFAS are listed on the Toxic Substances Control Act Chemical Substance Inventory as “inactive” and were previously used as binding agents and surfactants, in the production of sealants and gaskets, and in other applications. Inactive PFAS are those that have not been manufactured, imported, or processed since June 21, 2006.

The significant new use rule, or SNUR, would require entities to notify EPA at least 90 days prior to manufacturing, importing, or processing any of the inactive PFAS subject to the rule. The proposed rule would not apply to substances for which a previous SNUR already exists. A total of 330 substances are subject to the proposed rule.

“This proposal is part of EPA’s comprehensive strategy to stop PFAS from entering our air, land and water and harming our health and the planet,” said Michal Freedhoff, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “The rule would put needed protections in place where none currently exist to ensure that EPA can slam the door shut on all unsafe uses” of the substances subject to the rule.

Comments are due by March 27. For more information, read the proposed rule in the Federal Register and the EPA press release. The agency website provides information about risk management of PFAS under TSCA.